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The loading dock is one of the most important areas in a warehouse, and yet not one that gets discussed as often.

You could consider the loading dock as the beginning of every process in your warehouse. Without the products coming in from your loading dock, your warehouse wouldn’t have any inventory to move around, and would be at a loss for products and opportunities.

As a result, a lot of warehouses are starting to pay attention to how their docks are designed and equipped, in order to help get their inventory and order handling off on the right foot. By making sure the infrastructure of your loading dock is optimized, you can make the act of unloading products go more smoothly, and help improve productivity through your entire warehouse.

 

Optimizing Loading Dock Infrastructure

 

Refined storage

While most people tend to think of loading docks as a place for packages to get unboxed and ready to be placed in inventory, sometimes they need a bit more long-term storage. By equipping your loading dock with wire shelves and industrial storage bins to store products before they get sent back to inventory, you can cut down on clutter and potential mispicks before they can reach their final destination.

 

Tools for moving products

Similarly, equipping your dock with tools to help move products more quickly can streamline your process and reduce the overall handling time of your inventory en route to the customer. Set up gravity conveyors and roller racks to help your team get items from the loading dock to their home in inventory more quickly, and the time it takes to process orders should start to go down.

 

Improved lighting

Loading docks have a lot of conditions to contend with, particularly during times of the year where you can’t always rely on sunlight. A lot of missing items, miscounts, and other errors can be chalked up to the lack of lighting and visibility in the warehouse. Upgrade your dock with industrial LED lighting to maximize visibility, creating a safer (and more productive) environment for your team.

 

Protection from weather and external conditions

Weather factors, such as wind, cold, or even a lack of sunlight, can have a negative impact on your loading processes and overall productivity. By upgrading your weatherproofing around the doors and loading bays, and providing space heaters and protective clothing as needed, you can cut down on potential damage to your goods and keep your workers safer and more comfortable.

 

Clear signage, labels, and markers

Finally, the dock of your warehouse should have the same sort of signage, directional markers, and shelf labeling as the rest of your warehouse. Particularly if your docks lead to high-traffic areas, or if items need to spend more time there before getting put away, using shelf label holders and directional pointers can help keep everyone on track.

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